NLA passes budget bill in first reading

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BANGKOK, 18 August 2014 – The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has approved the 2015 appropriation bill in principle in the first reading while the head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) promised transparency in the disbursement process. 

The 2015 appropriation bill worth 2.575 trillion baht was proposed by NCPO Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha to the NLA during its meeting today. Gen Prayuth stated that the budget framework had been set with prudence and in accordance with His Majesty the King’s sufficiency economy philosophy. The budget plan also adheres to the 11th National Economic and Social Development Plan, which emphasizes on the reduction of social disparities, fair allocation of funds and regulation of spending in line with the fiscal discipline.

Before the assembly, Gen Prayuth vowed to use the budget in a transparent and efficient manner, adding that every process would be closely observed and each involved agency would need to report progress to him every three months.

During the meeting, 17 NLA members participated in the budget debate. Some of them were of the opinion that budget allocations for the Ministries of Defense, Interior and Labor for the purpose of creating reconciliation were not inclusive enough. In response, Gen Prayuth welcomed the suggestions but claimed he might not be able to fulfill all the requests as he planned to be in power for only one year. However, he pledged to do all he could.

At the end of the session, the NLA members cast a unanimous vote to pass the budget bill in principle. A special committee comprising 50 members was also set up to review and adjust details of the bill within seven days before the second and third readings take place on September 17-18.